Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Big Love (Megan Jacobson, illus by Beck Feiner, Walker Studio) 

This sweet picture book debut draws an immediate comparison with children’s bookshelf classic Guess How Much I Love You. As the borders of Big Love’s world unspool, from house to entire universe, the lyrical narration addresses a small listener directly to reassure them that none of these things are as big as the way they are loved. Modern Australian classic Under the Love Umbrella is another natural comparison and, like that book, Big Love will appeal to parents living within the hazy spell of a newborn, as well as being an ideal read-aloud for anxious toddlers and preschoolers. This is the first picture book for YA author and screenwriter Megan Jacobson, and her descriptions are richly evocative: volcanoes burp, galaxies sparkle like spilled glitter and treetops tickle the roof. In the midst of this glorious wildness, the simple repeated refrain of ‘it’s not as big as my love for you’ serves as a reassuring anchor. Stylish illustrations from Beck Feiner accompany the text and provide charming details that will add to the pleasure of reading together. Can you spot a snorkel in the bath? The bird sitting on the window cleaner’s head? The inclusion of a diversity of parents and families also adds to the book’s appeal.

Bronte Coates is a freelance reviewer. 


Category: Junior Reviews